Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Week Links

I guess I had time on my hands to keep up on blog reading, this week, because this is a huge list -- I'm sure the next one won't be like that.

Prayers and Acts:

  • Helping Those in Need, a Hillside Education apostolate -- right now asking for donations for a Catholic homeschooling family -- the husband and father is suffering from a grave disease.

Faith and Liturgical Year

The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the "domestic church" or the "church in miniature." St. John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a "family church," and in doing so, we sanctify the family unit.

Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel’s consolation
To one who has eighty years and no to-morrow.

New Years' Reviews, Reflections and Resolutions

One of the things that has been bugging me about our "school" this year is the absence of my "learning logs". I found them to be so useful for gauging how well things are going and what needs more effort. I like blogging them because I find it easier to organize my thoughts and find things later with a blog format. I also find the notion that "someone might be reading this" makes me a bit more accountable.

I am seeking the balance of planning and awaiting the leading of the Holy Spirit. This requires constant prayer, rather than the seeking of systems. I have tried many, and they all have their good points. What does the Lord want me to do?


In a recent blog, I mentioned Pieper’s phrase, “busyness doesn’t equal productivity”. I used it in the context of leisure, but now I would like to use it in the context of action. I would like to suggest that we make our resolutions and actions few, but purposeful. My goal for the coming year is simplicity…meaningful simplicity. That is also my goal in relation to education. My hope is that as I educate and that as I assist others in educating that I simplify the process (see my blog “Education is simple”). I don’t want to add something else to the plates that educators are already spinning. I want to help them remove some plates.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

Literature and Reading

Whenever I read an absolutely unforgettable book -- whenever a work of literature gives me that feeling Emily Dickinson described thus:
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

-- whenever I read a work like that, I say (whether it's Dante, Shakespeare, George MacDonald, Ayn Rand; or Wordsworth, Edna St. Vincent Millay; or the young adult fantasy novels of J. K. Rowling and Christopher Paolini; Ray Bradbury's short stories; rare moments in Freud or Jung; or, just this morning, "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath --

here's what I think. I think, "This author has touched on ultimate human realities."

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. ~ Walt Disney


Analogy requires that we use equivocals to express a real and inherent order in knowing or in things. We must speak of something we have to know first, not merely something we merely happened to know first.
The active and the contemplative life are both ordered to the concrete. It is not as if the abstractions that the speculative thinker uses are the stuff of some special world that the intellectual gets to inhabit. Abstractions are only tools we use to get closer to the concrete and to understand it more intimately.

The more I study the issue, the more I agree with Beckwith’s overall point — the struggle between science as a weapon for atheism, and the Christian view of science as studying the creation of God, centers not around empirical detection of design, but in philosophy, epistemology in particular. ID is a bit of a skirmish to the side.

God certainly understands this state of affairs and has given us the remarkable example of simple sanctity in form of St. Therese's "Little Way." He has also taught us through Our Lady's revelations at Fatima that the conscientious carrying out of our daily duty is a recipe for sanctity in the modern world.

He will set them off with communications of His presence which, though faint, seem great to them, with emotional sweetness, and easy conquest over temptation. But He never allows this state of affairs to last long. Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs--to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish.

It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with, the better. He cannot "tempt" to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.

"You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan." That's a line that could have been delivered forcefully, but Guinness gives it a sort of gentle humor, a bold humility, like Father Brown saying to the latest criminal he's caught, "I am a priest, Monsieur Flambeau, and I am ready to hear your confession."

Quote on dragons from The Sci-Fi Catholic

"We do not know what the dragon means, just as we do not know the meaning of the universe, but there is something in the image of the dragon that is congenial to man's imagination, and thus the dragon arises in many latitudes and ages. It is, one might say, a necessary monster, not some ephemeral and casual creature like the chimaera or the catoblepas.--Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Imaginary Beings

Health -- personal and family

1 comment:

avagdro said...

Thanks to all.My resolutions include stop procrastination,stop cynicism, stop comparing,stop complaining,stop Competing,stop Contending,stop criticizing, Challenging great goals such as world peace n Happiness of Others.To built a strong sense of responsibility.
Wish you all a Joyful New Year.

Gifts to India|Gifts to chennai|Gifts to Bangalore